This morning, when the voting polls opened at the Queen Creek Library in the heavily Republican-leaning southeast valley of Maricopa County in AZ, voters were met with some surprising news— the only two printers designated for printing their ballots were both broken.

Jake Hoffman, the local Republican Party chairman, was notified by a voter, that between 150-200 voters were asked to write their names on a piece of scratch paper, along with their cell phone numbers, and wait for a text message or call that would inform them of when the ballot printers were functioning, so they could come back again to vote.

According to at least one voter, the voters were NOT being told of another location they could go to vote. 

In addition to the issues with the only two printers available at the Queen Creek Library location, this morning, a half hour after the polls had already opened, Fontes tweeted a message to voters in the Gila Precinct, to let them know that they need to vote at another location, “due to building access issues”.

They just found out about this on the morning of the election?

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According to Fontes’ Tweet, three hours later, the polling place was reopened:

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This isn’t the first time Maricopa County residents have cried foul over major voting issues in Maricopa County. In the 2018 primary elections that were held in August, voters were furious when 62 polling places in Maricopa County were still not open at the scheduled 6 am time.

In August 2018, Maricopa County voters experienced multiple serious election day voting issues that were blamed on the newly elected Democrat Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes.

The newly appointed Democrat, Adrian Fontes found himself facing a lot of backlash from voters after he refused to reveal the results of a taxpayer-funded audit that would reveal the results of why there were so many election day issues in the primary election.

On the day of the primary elections in Maricopa County, the Democrat County Recorder, Adrian Fontes tweeted:

UPDATE: As of 6:00 a.m., the set up in 62 polling places had not been completed. All sites were functional by 11:30 a.m. We will be providing additional information as soon as it is available.

You can still vote, please visit http://Maricopa.Vote  for more info.

In late September, after much political wrangling, the Maricopa County auditor released a report placing much of the blame for a myriad of election day voting problems squarely on Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes.

The report provided additional insight into what went wrong on Aug. 28 that resulted in 62 polling places not opening at 6 a.m. when voting was supposed to begin.

On election day, county officials reported that the late openings were the result of voter check-in machines that had not been set up on time. Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes blamed an information technology contractor for not providing the needed resources to install the equipment in a timely manner.

Who will Fontes blame for the two non-functioning printing machines this morning in the heavily Republican-leaning polling place, that forced voters to leave with a promise that they would be called back later?

It’s interesting to note, that Fontes Twitter account has multiple tweets in the Spanish language to help non-English speaking voters navigate the early voting process:

Perhaps Fontes time would have been better spent making sure registered voters were able to vote on election day in Maricopa County, than making sure every Spanish speaking voter understood the early voting process.

Fontes attempted to explain the steps he is taking to prevent another serious election day issue in this September 25, 2018 video from AZ Central.

Here’s what the audit that Fontes resisted making public uncovered:

There were no backup for equipment issues

Issue: There was no backup plan for setting up the voter check-in equipment if a technician didn’t show up or for diagnosing a problem with the equipment if it malfunctioned. (The auditors noted that these were the key issues that resulted in polling placed not opening on time.)

There was no onsite backup plan for voters

Issue: When the equipment was not set up or there was a malfunction, “there was no plan to provide onsite voting options, which created inconveniences for voters, among other issues,” the report said.

Auditors also noted that while Fontes now says that the 40 vote centers, which allow any voter to cast a ballot, were supposed to serve as a back-up for voters if their precinct polling place was inoperable, that was not told to poll workers during training or to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. –AZ Central

The video below shows an uncomfortable Fontes being pressed by a female reporter from local ABC15 News about his refusal to release the taxpayer-funded audit:

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